How to learn english fast – Staying motivated

In today’s post I wanted to talk about staying motivated as an english language learner.

As an avid language learner myself, I’ve always struggled to stay motivated for long periods of time to reach fluency in a language. In order to stay focused I’ve had to learn to stay motivated.

It’s my firm belief that motivation and not discipline is the key to short and long term fluency. These are the ways I’ve stayed motivated.

1)Make it emotional!

To learn as quick as you can, you need to make your reasons emotional. For example, saying that you want a better job is not getting emotional. Why you and your family need a better job is a way to get emotional. Why do you need a better job? There are lots of reasons and they all come down to happiness and security. Here are some reasons that one might need a better job.

-You need to provide your family with a safe and secure place to live
-You want to provide your children with a better education
-Your parents are aging and don’t have the meens to support themselves in their older age

2) Give yourself incremental goals

One thing I always do is make definite plans to go to the country where the language is spoken. Each time I visit, I always have a clear goal of what level of fluency I want to have.

The first time I visit, I want to be able to navigate where I’m going comfortably. It is my goal to be able to ask questions about locations and be able to clearly understand the directions that I am receiving. I also want to be able to rent a vehicle, find and check into a hotel and order at restaurants.

The next time I visit I want to be able to have a casual conversation with people about where they live and about their country.

As my wife and I travel frequently, I tend to set shorter goals. But the key is having a goal and a purpose to reach that goal.

3) Make friends online

Another way to keep yourself motivated is to find a friend in your target language. You can communicate with a friend in short text conversations by means of Facebook,  Google + or whatever other social media you use. As you are communicating, you can make use of tools such as Google translate to improve your english or target language and more effectively communicate while building your vocabulary.

4) Learn by means of useful phrases

Now, I brought this up in an earlier post about learning phrases instead of vocabulary and grammar. You will find that your ability to communicate with others will drastically improve. Your vocabulary and grammar will also see a faster improvement.

Those are my ways of staying motivated. Tell me, how do you stay motivated to learn english or other languages?

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How to use english idioms – The ball is in your court

The ball is in your court…

This means that it is someone’s turn to make a  decision. It is someone’s turn to act. In the game of tennis, when an opponent hits the ball on your side of the court, you need to quickly decide how and where you are going to hit the ball in order to return it to your opponent’s side of the court. This phrase is often used when arguing with an individual or when pressuring someone for a decision. How can you use this phrase?

‘I’ve done all that I can do here, now the ball is in your court

‘My interview seemed to go well, but the ball is in the manager’s court to decide if I’m hired or not.’

‘I told you how I feel about the way you treat me. If you don’t change then I’m going to leave. The ball is in your court!

As mentioned before, the origin of this idiom came from the game of tennis. Though, it has been adopted in other games like basketball.

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How to learn english fast – Immerse yourself

There are no shortcuts to learning english. This is the reality of learning a new language. I don’t meen to frustrate you with this comment, but rather to motivate you to do everything within your power to advance your english.

The title of this post seems obvious. In order to learn a language, you need to immerse yourself. All to often though, we forget about the variety of ways that we can immerse ourselves. Even for those that don’t live in a country of the target language you want to learn, there are so many tools available to you.

If you have a smart phone, an ipod or other music device, you need to be loading it with audio in your target language. This could be a podcast, music, a Ted talk that interests you and so on. You can listen to it in your car on the way to and from work. You can listen to it while biking or walking to school. You can listen on your lunch breaks. You can listen while excersising, going for a jog, a bike ride and so on.

Another way is to carry a small book and write new english words and phrases in it daily. I suggest a book here because by using your hand to write you are helping yourself to memorize the information better. Once you have filled your book, which should take a short period of time, then take the more dificult phrases and words that you just can’t seem to remember and turn them into flashcards.

Once you have your set of flashcards, then pull them out every hour or two and flip through them. Once you’ve completed your next small book of english phrases, then turn those into flashcards and take those and flip through them every hour.

There are more ways to immerse yourself. All you have to do is keep your mind open to these opportunities.

I’ll post more ways you can immerse yourself in the english language in some of my posts coming up.

I know that each person has the ability to learn a language in a short period of time and I know you can too! Keep calm and learn on….

How to use english idioms – To ace something

To ace something…

If someone aced something, it means that they excelled in it. For example, if someone was to get a mark of 100% on a test, they would have ‘aced’ that test. If someone had a successful interview where they answered all of the interviewer’s questions perfectly and then received the job, it could be said that they ‘aced’ their interview. If you were to receive an A+ grade in one of your subjects, you can say ‘I aced that subject!’

There are lots of idioms and expressions that refer to an ace. If you play cards, then you know that in a majority of games, the ace is the highest value card. All expressions that use ‘ace’ in them derive their origins from card games.

Examples of ‘ace’ in them include:

‘An ace up one’s sleeve’
‘Hold all the aces’
‘Come within an ace of something’
‘Ace in the hole’

And there are several more….

If you know of another idiom with ‘ace’ in it, then please share it below in the comments section.

How to express yourself – Complimenting others

Everyone likes to receive a compliment. Even more so, everyone who gives a compliment likes to see the joy of the ones who receive the compliment. When giving someone a compliment in a language not as familiar as their native one, you need to be careful as to what you say and to whom you say it. So, for the next few minutes we’ll examine some simple expressions that we can use to compliment someone.

‘You look beautiful!’

This can be the highest praise and most flattering compliment one can receive. You would use this expression if you wanted to compliment someone very close to you, particularly a woman. If you are a male you could use this to show affection to your girlfriend, your sister, your daughter, your mother, your wife or a very close female friend. If you are a woman, you would use this with your close female friends and perhaps when speaking about a man, but not typically to a man.

‘You look handsome!’

This phrase would be appropriate for a woman complimenting a man. You would not use this phrase when trying to compliment a woman as it would be awkward. The word ‘Handsome’ is masculine in nature. In older English literature like Jane Austen, it was appropriate to refer to a woman as handsome, however that is no longer the case.

This phrase, while not overly intimate and affectionate, can be used in a variety of situations when you want to compliment a male. You could use this phrase to compliment a man or a boy. You could use it with your father, brother, any male family member and close friend.

If you want to be more specific about how one looks, you can use the following phrase and combine it with the adjectives listed below:

‘You Look ________!’

 

Ravishing

You can use this adjective when referring to someone that you are intimate with. It would be inappropriate to refer to another woman as ravishing if you were not intimate or very close. You would only refer to a woman as ravishing as it is feminine in nature.

Delightful

When you call someone delightful, you are complimenting more then just their appearance. Calling someone “delightful” refers to the whole person, including attitude, appearance and personality. For example, when someone says: “You are a delightful young lady”, it is implied that the subject could be kind, warm, well-mannered, polite, cheerful and pleasant. This term is most often used by an older person referring to a younger male or female. For example, a grandmother could be referring to her grandson as a “delightful young man”.  This term is somewhat more dated and used less among younger crowds. It can also be used to describe non-human things such as movies, food, shows, etc.

Gorgeous

This term refers to someone who is very beautiful. Most commonly used when describing someone of the opposite sex to a group of friends or acquaintances. It refers to primarily physical beauty. However it can also be used to describe inanimate objects such as a gorgeous dress, car, etc…

Stunning

If someone is stunned, it means that they are incapacitated; unable to move. So if someone is stunning, it typically means that they are so beautiful that people pause momentarily, as though they were stunned, to notice this individual. You could use this when referring to both a man and woman. You typically wouldn’t use this adjective to describe someone that you are not familiar with. Often, a person will use this to compliment an item of clothing that someone is wearing such as a dress or a piece of jewelry.

Striking

If something is striking, it means that it grabs attention. If you were to strike something you would use your hand or another object to hit it. A slap on the face would be a strike. If you received a strike on the face, it would without a doubt grab your attention. Similarly,  if someone is striking, it means that they have grabbed your attention. Though no one would ever want to be hit, striking, in this case, is not a negative adjective. You could use this with a variety of people. This is not limited to individuals that you are intimate with. It can include casual friends as well. You can use striking to modify beautiful or handsome. ‘You are strikingly beautiful!’ Or ‘You are strikingly handsome!’ Is an example of this. You can use this to talk about objects as well, in the case of an article of clothing or jewelry.

Now that you understand what is appropriate, you can add this to your english conversations when complimenting others. Let me know if you have any questions by filling out the form below. If there is anything you would like to see in future posts, please let me know! Keep calm and learn on!